Child celebrity settles down with family; becomes firefighter


Mike Vitar? Maybe you know him more as the famous alter ego, Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez.

Vitar was born on Dec. 21, 1978 and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He was almost every girl’s first crush before they even knew what a crush was. Vitar landed his first acting role at age 12, when he was spotted at a school carnival.

His debut began in 1991 in the film “Diplomatic Immunity” and the TV series “Brooklyn Bridges.” He then went on to fulfill roles in movies such as “D2: The Mighty Ducks” where he played Luis Mendoza.

It was not until 1993 that he made his first huge appearance taking the lead role, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez in the movie “The Sandlot.” His character was the main leader of the boys local baseball team in the neighborhood.

This is when Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez became the Benny the Jet. He was the whole package: athletic, cute and sweet to everyone. Hence why he became best friends with the quirky narrator of the Sandlot, Scotty Smalls. The character he portrayed was hard not to love.

Fun fact, he and his older brother Pablo P. Vitar played the same character at different ages in the movie, “The Sandlot.” The following year, Vitar was awarded a Young Artist Award for Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture.

The last appearance he made was in 1997 when he starred in “Chicago Hope” and “NYPD Blue.” Perhaps this is the reason he was inspired to become involved with the work he is in now.

So where is he now you may ask?

Vitar now resides back in his hometown. In 1996 he worked for Gerber Ambulance in Torrance, where he took classes towards working with Emergency Medical Services to move on in his current career as a firefighter. Vitar is now officially working for the Los Angeles firefighter department as of 2002.

He is happily married to his wife Kym and now has two sons and a daughter.

As of 2015, his net worth is over $300,000.

So there you have it, the baseball boy whose poster use to fill girls’ walls is no longer Mr. Dreamy. Vitar retired his acting career and decided to save lives by becoming an LA firefighter.

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